Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Underinsured Motorist Coverage and How the Insurance Company has a Strong Advantage When Challenging those Claims

If you happen to be in an accident due to the other party’s fault, what are you supposed to do? It’s a no-brainer that you may want to file a personal injury claim. But what if the motorist is underinsured?

That’s exactly where underinsured motorist coverage comes into picture.

Most places in the United States require motorists to have minimum auto insurance coverage. Underinsured motorist coverage is additional. If you are residing in the US, you will most probably require auto insurance coverage which includes both personal injury coverage as well as coverage for personal property damage. Your auto insurance coverage may also include uninsured motorist coverage. But what does underinsured motorist coverage actually mean? What is the difference between underinsured motorist coverage and uninsured motorist coverage? How does the insurance company have the upper hand when challenging those claims? Below, we answer all these questions and discuss these topics in detail.

What is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Underinsured motorist coverage is an add-on to your existing auto insurance policy. Getting this additional coverage means enhanced protection in the event of an accident where you suffer personal and property losses.

If you get hurt in a severe accident and the other party has insufficient or no auto insurance coverage at all, your underinsured motorist coverage proves to be of great help. If the at-fault driver has little automobile insurance coverage and the total cost of damages surpasses that limit, you can cover the remaining cost with the help of your own underinsured motorist coverage. However, you need to understand how insurance law applies in your state.

The definition of underinsured motorist isn’t the same in all states of the country. The definition of an underinsured motorist also varies from one insurance company to another. Car accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. Anyone can get injured and suffer property damages in accidents. If you want to have better protection in the event of an accident, you should broaden your knowledge in regard to auto insurance coverage and plan ahead of time. Most importantly, you should know how underinsured motorist coverage works and what hurdles you may have to face when trying to cover the loss through this insurance coverage.

automobile damages

Assume you have been in an accident and the total cost of damages including medical and automobile damages is $100,000. The at-fault driver has an auto insurance policy to cover damages worth only $50,000. In this case, you can cover the remaining cost by claiming against your insurance provider. However, the balance cost also depends on the limit of your policy’s coverage. If you are unable to get the full value of your claim, you’ll find yourself in a tough spot.

Seek Advice

If you reside in Orange, CA, you can also seek expert consultation from the Accident Injury Law Center (TAILC). The personal injury law office offers top-notch and highly reliable legal services and compassionate legal representation for a wide range of clients across the state of California.

Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage

The coverage benefits of UM and UIM include both medical expenses of all the car occupants as well as property damages in the accident due to the fault of the other party. So, these coverages apply when the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough auto insurance. These benefits also apply when the at-fault driver has been a hit-and-run driver. The two coverage are:

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM): If the at-fault driver is uninsured or hit-and-run driver, this type of coverage pays the cost of damage done in the car accident. This is additional coverage.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM): In cases where the other party doesn’t have adequate automobile insurance coverage and the cost of damages in the accident exceed their limited coverage, your underinsured motorist coverage helps you cover the balance cost of damages. This type of coverage is an add-on, and you can purchase it to complement your uninsured motorist coverage.

If you or someone you know has been in a vehicle accident and the at-fault driver happens to be uninsured or has less coverage, you should feel free to talk to an accident injury attorney for expert guidance.

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Expenses Paid by Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Have you purchased uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage? If you have, you should also be aware of the expenses these benefits pay for. Here is a quick look at the expenses that are covered.

  • Medical bills
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and Suffering

Underinsured Claims are Complicated

The UIM claims territory is quite difficult to tread on your own. If you get hurt in a car accident and you want to submit claims to cover the cost of damages, you shouldn’t do it alone. This is all quite complicated. If you do it on your own, you’re likely to make filing mistakes and land yourself in trouble.

In regard to the medical bills, it is important to understand that your underinsured motorist coverage will take care of only those medical expenses that the other party’s insurer hasn’t covered. Also, you can claim only those out of pocket costs that are related to the car accident in which you were involved. Though you can seek damages for pain and suffering, whether you’ll receive or not depends on the limit of your underinsured motorist policy.

Notification to Insurance Company: One of the key things to remember in regard to the accident claim filing is that you are required to submit a notification with your insurance company – immediately after the accident. Any delay in notifying the insurance company will read to loss of coverage benefits.

Hidden UIM Claim Filing Deadlines: Filing UIM claims on time is essential to be able to receive the benefits. In case your insurer has hidden deadlines for filing the claims, you can easily miss them. Your insurance company has strict terms as far as the filing deadlines are concerned. If you don’t want to be caught up in these complications, you should seek help from an injury attorney.

vehicle accident

Talk to An Attorney

When planning to file claims in the event of a vehicle accident, you should definitely use the expert services of an attorney. At the Accident Injury Law Center, you can talk to an experienced attorney who doesn’t have expertise only in dealing with car accident claims but also handling UIM claims.

Getting Your Insurance Company to Accept Your Claim is a Big Challenge

Filing the UIM claim and receiving the cost of damages is a lengthy and complicated process. There are multiple steps, each of which should be adhered to in a timely and effective manner. Submitting the claim is one thing but getting your insurer to accept the claim is quite another.

How do you find out whether the at-fault driver is underinsured? This is something that you will not know until you have submitted the claim and the entire investigation has been completed. So, once you have filed the accident claim, you have to wait for the notification from the insurer to discover what is the maximum amount that they will pay to cover the cost of the damages.

Add to this the adherence to UIM deadlines. To avoid missing the UIM deadlines of your insurance company, you can file a notice with them in advance. The purpose of filing this notice is to inform the insurer that you’ll be unlocking your underinsured motorist coverage soon. So, giving a notice is not filing the car accident claim. In fact, it is just a reservation for the same ahead of time. This is one way in which the injured party can ensure that he/she doesn’t miss the deadline.

Going to Arbitration with Insurance Companies

If you have been in a vehicle accident and suffered personal and property damages, you have a couple of options to recover the cost of damages. One of these is settlement with the help of an arbitrator.

You can ask the at-fault driver to pay for the damages done in cash. However, this is something which hardly works. Most drivers are not in a financial situation to pay a big amount of money in cash. So, you can go to arbitration with the insurance company. But this is a route which you need to tread with care. Before you decide to go down this path, you should be able to carefully evaluate your situation. You should be fully informed of all the costs related to the accident. When going for settlement, it is easy to miss out on various costs that may arise later.

For example, neck or spinal damages may not be known at the time of the car accident or when you go to arbitration. Moreover, arbitration with insurance companies should also include other expenses such as the lost wages as well as tax liabilities which may incur due to a settlement.

Most people are not aware that going to arbitration with insurance companies can prove to be expensive as a result.

Why You Should Hire an Attorney

Many individuals want to deal with the matter with the other party on their own. If you do it on your own, the other party may not compensate for the entire losses and injuries caused in the accident. If you plan to go against big insurers, you should definitely seek the help of an expert attorney.

By working with a qualified accident injury attorney, you’ll be able to fully understand what your current financial situation looks like. Your accident injury attorney will not only help you understand every aspect of your accident case in detail but they will set your financial compensation goals as well. With an experienced attorney by your side, you can make sure that all the documentation is filed in a proper manner and your case is presented in the best possible way.

Speak with an Accident Injury Attorney Today

If you were injured in a vehicle accident and fear that the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough coverage, give the Accident Injury Law Center a quick call and talk to attorney Moses Yneges in Orange County, CA.

You deserve to work with an attorney who really knows how insurance and UIM coverage play a crucial role in accident injury cases and who will ensure you receive the maximum compensation for damages. You can call us via phone or send us an email. The initial consultation is free.